Friday, August 16, 2019

Bunch Man Sentenced


The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Jeremy Lee Poafpybitty a/k/a “Chooch”, age 33, of Bunch, Oklahoma was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment, and 3 years of supervised release for Assaulting An Employee Of The United States With A Deadly And Dangerous Weapon. The charges arose from an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Tahlequah Police Department. 

The Indictment alleges that on or about July 24, 2018 the defendant knowingly, intentionally, and forcibly, with the use of a knife, assaulted, opposed, impeded, intimidated, and interfered with and inflicted bodily injury to an employee of the United States Postal Service while in the performance of official duties. 

“United States Postal Service employees overcome many challenges to delivering mail, but violence is one they should never have to face. The defendant is being justly punished for his violent acts against the victim, a postal employee,” said United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester. 

The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Henson represented the United States.


KXMX News Staff


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Bill John Baker Named Executive Chairman at CN Businesses

 
Bill John Baker

The Cherokee Nation Businesses Board of Directors has named former Principal Chief Bill John Baker to Executive Chairman at CNB, effective immediately. The position plays a new role of ambassador to the larger business community and the federal government, senior most advisor to the CNB board of directors and will be tasked with setting strategic vision and long-term benchmarks for the company. 

“Bill John Baker has been a friend and a mentor to me for more than 25 years,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. “During his tenure as Chief, he took our tribe from an economic impact of just $1.06 billion in 2012 to $2.17 billion in 2018. His leadership helped secure a Joint Venture with Indian Health Service that will bring $105 million per year into our health system and the economy of northeast Oklahoma. He established the first tribal medical school partnership with OSU Center for Health Sciences, so we can train our own doctors and keep those highly trained and well-paid professionals in rural Oklahoma. He brought large retailers like Amazon and Macy’s to northeast Oklahoma, along with manufacturers like Greenheck and Sofidel. With all the strides he’s made in luring large businesses to northeast Oklahoma, he’s also made sure small businesses are supported. Bill John Baker created business incubator programs, mentorships and strengthened our TERO process. With all this success as an elected official, I’m more than optimistic at what he can do as a business leader.” 

Baker assumes the role immediately. 

“I started my career in Tahlequah as a small businessman 50 years ago, before dedicating my life to the Cherokee people, first as a tribal councilor and then as Principal Chief for the past eight years,” said Bill John Baker, executive chairman for Cherokee Nation Businesses. “Serving the Cherokee people in elected office has been the honor of a lifetime. Now, to come full circle is both a new challenge, and a new honor. I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to serve and I thank Chief Hoskin and the CNB board of directors for the privilege of serving in this new role and for their confidence in me.” 

Chuck Garrett

Executive Vice President Chuck Garrett has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer, replacing Shawn Slaton, who has served as CEO since 2011. Garrett is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and Harvard Law School. A native of Muskogee, with family ties in Adair County, and a Cherokee Nation citizen, Garrett worked in real estate investment, asset management and investment banking prior to returning to Oklahoma to join CNB in 2013. 

“CNB is a company with competitive advantages that are so unique to a tribal business, that the opportunities are nearly endless. I couldn’t be more grateful and optimistic to be taking the helm at this time,” said Chief Executive Officer Chuck Garrett. “However, my time at CNB has also taught me the deeper meaning of purpose. There really is no greater job than helping generate profits for the benefit of our people, to help make lives better for our citizens. Every day CNB employees come to work, we know the work we put in and the money we help generate puts a roof over someone’s head, sends a young person to college or helps our loved ones with a medical treatment that may be life-saving. As a Cherokee Nation citizen, I can honestly say taking the role of CEO at Cherokee Nation Businesses is the responsibility and the honor of a lifetime.” 

“To continue to adequately provide for our citizens and expand valuable services and programs, we must be vigilant in pursing new ways to expand our business portfolio. Chuck Garrett’s national and international business experience across multiple sectors make him the right Cherokee for the job at the right time. I know he’ll do a fantastic job for our people,” Chief Hoskin said. “I’m also confident his skills, combined with Bill John Baker’s ability to form coalitions for the purpose of achieving long-range goals, will be the recipe for a winning success.”

This is the first time since 2011 a Cherokee Nation citizen has served as CEO.

“The Cherokee Nation is the largest tribe in the United States, and CNB employs more than 7,500 people – the majority of those being Cherokee Nation citizens. With the depth of talent inside CNB and the number of highly-skilled, highly-educated Cherokees at a record high, there is no reason a Cherokee Nation citizen shouldn’t be leading our corporate interests,” Chief Hoskin said. “I’m proud that we now have not one, but two, of the most innovative and forward-thinking Cherokees to do just that.”

Shawn Slaton will remain at CNB where he has served in various gaming, accounting and executive roles since 1997. Under his leadership, revenue generated by the tribe’s businesses has grown to more than $1 billion, with nearly 40 percent of revenue being generated through the tribe's non-gaming businesses.

“Shawn has served CNB admirably for more than 20 years, starting when the Cherokee Nation operated only bingo halls and smoke shops,” Chief Hoskin said. “In addition to our 10 gaming and hospitality properties, growing museums and cultural offerings and federal contracting all over the globe, we are actively and successfully pursuing our first commercial gaming venture outside of Oklahoma. Shawn Slaton has been a large part of that success over the years and we appreciate his service. To continue to provide for our citizens, we must be vigilant in pursing new ways to expand our business portfolio, and we are pleased Shawn will stay on board while we move through this transition and into the next phase of CNB’s success in new and emerging markets.” 


KXMX News Staff


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Clorox Gives $30,000 to Webbers Falls Schools

Clean up efforts continue at Webbers Falls Schools 
as they prepare to return to class on Sept. 3.

The makers of Clorox decided to make the cleanup of Webbers Falls Public Schools after devastating flooding in May just a little easier.

The company donated $30,000 to the school system, along with cleaning supplies to assist in the recovery effort. Of the $30,000, $25,000 of it will go toward the school’s rebuilding efforts. The remaining $5,000 will go toward getting supplies for teachers and students.

Dr. Dixie Swearingen, Webbers Falls superintendent, said the donation was “a wonderful surprise.”

“I’m not sure how it was initiated,” she said, adding that she has had several people ask how they can help, so perhaps it was one of them.

“School is the center of a community and I don’t want to lose that,” Swearingen said.

Webbers Falls has about 290 students and Swearingen said everything is on schedule to start school on Sept. 3. 

The school has scheduled enrollment on three days this year. The sign-up will begin Friday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration will continue on Monday, Aug. 26, and Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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OSHSA Work Day Scheduled for Saturday


The Old Sallisaw High School Association has scheduled a work day at the park, 200 W Creek, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, August 16.

Volunteers are needed to help the group mark the new walking trail and to hang photos on the Event Center’s walls. 

Organizers invite the public to join us in their efforts to beautify the park and the events center.




Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Greenwood Man Sought in Break-in


An affidavit issued Aug. 8 reveals that a Greenwood man faces three felony burglary charges after a break-in in rural Sequoyah County.

Records show that Jeremiah Nicholas Allen, 30, has been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, second-degree burglary and third-degree burglary.

Police say that on the night of July 16, Allen and three alleged co-conspirators went to a rural Sequoyah County home owned by Stephen Fowlkes. 

When Fowlkes discovered the theft, he told police that a large Dewalt commercial radio, a diamond horseshoe-shaped ring and other items had been stolen, as well as an old wallet containing several credit cards that had been in Fowlkes’ truck.

On July 17, police reports indicate that Allen and two other accomplices went to the Walmart on Zero Street in Fort Smith, where they bought two cell phones and three cards for putting minutes on the devices. The items were paid for with a Discover card belonging to Fowlkes.

Closed-circuit footage from the store showed the three inside the store. Walmart also gave police the receipts for the purchases.

Allen’s bond was fixed at $10,000.

The conspiracy count is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. Second-degree burglary carries a punishment of up to seven years in prison. Third-degree burglary is subject to up to five years in prison.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Vehicle in Sallisaw Hit-and-Run Allegedly Used in Roland Robbery

Suspects and vehicle believed to be involved in a hit-and-run accident
in Sallisaw as well as a robbery in Roland.

A hit-and-run accident at Cherry and Oak streets in Sallisaw on Aug. 10 led Sallisaw police to a suspected getaway vehicle reportedly used in a Roland robbery the next day.

The Sallisaw Police Department was called to the location of the accident and discovered the vehicle, a gray Nissan Altima with an Oklahoma tag. The suspect vehicle has obviously chipped paint on the front bumper, police said, and the tag on the car was reported stolen and didn’t belong to that vehicle.

A short time later, a Roland police investigator alerted Sallisaw police that the vehicle fit the description of one used in an Aug. 11 robbery at the Cherokee Nation Casino in Roland.

If you have any information about who these individuals are, please contact Sallisaw Police Lt. Detective John Owens at (918) 775-4141 or Roland Police Investigator Chris Waters at (918) 427-3252.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Man Charged With Copper Theft


A Moffett man was arrested Aug. 5 in Roland after a witness saw him come out from under a house holding copper in his hands.

Records show that Daniel Alan Dye, 44, was seen in late July carrying copper he had allegedly stolen from under the home. He reportedly placed the copper in the truck he and his girlfriend were in, then left the scene.

When Roland police interviewed Dye, he told officers that he did go under the house, but denied cutting any copper, insisting instead that he only took copper that had been cut previously.

Dye told officers he sold the copper July 17 for $68.40 to Davis Iron and Metal.

Dye was charged with entering with intent to steal copper, a felony punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary for 1-5 years, or the county jail for 90-200 days, and a fine of $100-500.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Hoskin Calls Upon CNB Board to Implement Wage Increase

 
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. announced Wednesday that he is calling upon the Cherokee Nation Businesses board of directors to follow the tribe’s lead and implement a wage increase for employees working for the business arm of the tribe.

Cherokee Nation Businesses employs more than 7,560 people and is the board-governed holding company for the tribe’s for-profit businesses. CNB pays a direct dividend of 37 percent of its profits to the Cherokee Nation for services such as housing, health care, education and social services. The remaining 63 percent is reinvested into growing jobs, wages, business development and special projects, such as new health care facilities construction.

“As Chief of the Cherokee Nation, I respect CNB’s status as a wholly-owned business entity of the Cherokee Nation, overseen by a board of directors with the business acumen to balance the very real needs of our Cherokee Nation citizens today, with what will keep our businesses thriving in the long-term. However, it is clear that CNB has experienced tremendous success during the past eight years in large measure due to the dedication of its employees,” Chief Hoskin said. “Accordingly, it seems appropriate in my view for CNB to raise employee wages in a manner consistent with my plan to increase Cherokee Nation government employee wages.”

Last week Chief Hoskin announced that starting Oct. 1 Cherokee Nation’s minimum wage will increase from $9.50 per hour to $11 per hour. All 3,850 government employees, regardless of salary, will receive an increase to their pay in October.

“Raising the entry level wage to at least $11 an hour further enhances our ability to attract and retain great talent at CNB,” said Chuck Garrett, executive vice president at Cherokee Nation Businesses. “In addition to this very attractive wage, all regular, full-time hourly employees are offered a competitive benefits package, including a dollar-for-dollar match up to 6 percent on their 401(k) and participation in a rewarding incentive program. Likewise, employees at CNB have very meaningful career paths.”

Chief Hoskin anticipates CNB to review its budget and develop a fair and sustainable pay increase plan.



KXMX News Staff


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Be a Legend, Be a Donor! Give Blood with Bigfoot.

Be a legend and give blood with Oklahoma Blood Institute. Bigfoot is stomping his way through blood drives in Oklahoma this summer!

Oklahoma Blood Institute will hold a Bigfoot-themed blood drive with NHS Sequoyah on Tuesday, August 27, 11:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Each blood donor will receive a limited edition Bigfoot t-shirt. Donors will also receive a coupon from Whataburger for a free honey butter chicken biscuit and be entered for a chance to win Whataburger for a year! Donors also receive a voucher for free admission to their choice of Frontier City, Science Museum Oklahoma, or Safari Joe’s H2O Water & Adventure Park in Tulsa.*

“The legend of Bigfoot is not only fun, but it is a way to motivate our donors to believe in themselves and the real power of blood donation,” said John Armitage, M.D., president & CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “One blood donation saves up to three lives, so your donation truly makes a positive impact for local patients and their families.”

All blood types are needed, but O-negative blood donors are especially urged to give, as this universal blood type helps any patient, regardless of blood type, in an emergency.

Only ten percent of people in the United States who are eligible to give blood actually do. Blood donation takes just about an hour, and each donation can save the lives of up to three patients. Whole blood can be donated every 56 days. Platelet donations can be made as often as every 7 days, up to 24 times a year.

Donors also receive free health screenings and Donor Rewards points, redeemable at Oklahoma Blood Institute’s online store. If donors opt not to take the t-shirt, Oklahoma Blood Institute will make a monetary donation to Global Blood Fund for blood center assistance in developing countries.

As a non-profit blood center, Oklahoma Blood Institute’s donors provide every drop of blood needed for patients in more than 160 hospitals statewide. Approximately 1,200 volunteer blood donors are needed each day to maintain the supply. Appointments are not required but can be made by calling or texting at 479-652-2362 or visiting obi.org.


KXMX News Staff


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SPD Warns of Phone Scam


The Sallisaw Police Department has received warnings about several telephone calls that have been placed recently to area residents and businesses.

The caller ID reads “Sallisaw Police Department” with a local phone number. The caller purports to be a police department employee, telling the victim their identity has been compromised. The caller then tries to get their personal information and money.

If you receive a similar call, please call your local police department.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Roland Police Seek Robbery Suspects

Roland police are on the lookout for two people suspected in the robbery of a woman about 10:25 p.m. Sunday.

Chris Waters, Roland Police Department investigator, said Thursday that the department needs the public’s assistance in identifying the man and woman, who fled the scene in a dark gray Nissan Altima or Maxima.

The investigator added that the victims of the crime wanted to remain anonymous.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Roland Police Department at (918) 427-3252.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Single-vehicle Accident Ends in Fatality


A single-vehicle accident near Gans at approximately 7:33 a.m. Thursday morning left a Fort Smith man dead from injuries sustained.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) report, Matt C. Hutchinson, 38, was driving a 2003 GMC pickup eastbound on SH141 three miles west and a half mile south of Gans when he failed to negotiate a curve. The pickup then departed the roadway to the right, crossing county road 4650 and striking a ditch embankment causing the vehicle to come to rest.

Hutchinson was pinned in the vehicle for approximately forty minutes before being freed by Brent Fire Dept., OHP and Pafford EMS. He was transported by Pafford EMS to Northeast Health Systems in Sallisaw where he was pronounced dead at 8:59 a.m. from head injuries.

The report states that seatbelts were in use and the airbag did deploy.



KXMX News Staff


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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

2019-20 Little Cherokee Ambassadors Crowned

(L-R) 2018-19 Miss Cherokee Whitney Roach, 2019-20 Little Cherokee Ambassadors AriaMae Cunningham, Reese Henson, Lindzee Scott, Jonah Asbill, Lucas Asbill, Wyatt Carey and 2018-19 Jr. Miss Cherokee Kaitlyn Pinkerton.

The 2019-20 Little Cherokee Ambassadors were crowned on Aug. 10 in Tahlequah, kicking off the first official event of the 67th Cherokee National Holiday.

Seventeen Cherokee children competed in three age divisions for the titles. Little Cherokee Ambassadors act as role models and ambassadors for the tribe by attending events and parades for the next year. 

Maryetta Elementary School fifth-grader Lindzee Scott was crowned Little Cherokee Ambassador in the 10-12 age category. Scott, 10, of Stilwell, said she is excited to begin serving as Little Miss Cherokee.

“It means a lot,” Scott said. “I’ve been practicing and am really looking forward to being in all the parades this year.”

For her cultural presentation she showed traditional Cherokee hunting tools, such as arrowheads, spearheads and tomahawks. She answered the importance and meaning of the star on the Cherokee Nation flag, named the three branches of Cherokee Nation government and described the traditional game of stickball.

Joining her in the male division of Little Cherokee Ambassador is Grand View Elementary School sixth-grader Jonah Asbill, 11, of Tahlequah. He sang “Orphan Child” in Cherokee.

Reese Henson, a fifth-grader at Cherokee Immersion Charter School in Tahlequah, recited the Lord’s Prayer in Cherokee to win the 7-9 age division. 

“I like to share the Cherokee language and be an ambassador for the tribe,” Henson said. 

Winning in the boys 7-9 age division is Lucas Asbill, 9, of Tahlequah. Winning in the 4-6 age division were AriaMae Cunningham, 5, and Wyatt Carey, 4, both students at Cherokee Immersion Charter School.

The Junior Miss Cherokee competition is slated for 6 p.m. on Aug. 17 at New Life Worship Center and the Miss Cherokee Leadership Competition will be held at 6 p.m. on Aug. 24 at Cornerstone Fellowship Church.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Learn a Latte About CASA



CASA for Children in Sequoyah County will host a CASA 101 Informational Session for prospective volunteers from 9 to 10 a.m. on Monday, August 19th at Oasis Coffee House located at 120 E. Cherokee Ave. in Sallisaw.

CASA has a crucial need for volunteers. This is a no-obligation introduction to CASA and its mission. CASA staff will be on hand to discuss the increasing need for volunteers, what it means to be a CASA, and how community members can help make a difference in the lives of children in foster care.

CASA 101 attendees interested in becoming a CASA volunteer can also begin the application and sign-up process.

No RSVP needed. For more information contact Jenny Crosby at 918-686-8199 or email jenny@casaok.org. Additional information can also be found by visiting the CASA for Children website at www.casaok.org


KXMX News Staff


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Olsen Achieves Perfect Score on OK Constitution Conservative Index

State Rep. Jim Olsen

State Rep. Jim Olsen (R-Roland) was one of only four Oklahoma lawmakers this year to receive a 100% on the Oklahoma Constitution’s Conservative Index. 

For the index, the publication’s staff rates members of each Oklahoma legislative chamber on ten key votes. A favorable vote on these issues represents a belief in conservative principles.

“I don’t vote conservative to win praise or awards. When I vote, I do my best to stay true to Biblical principles, constitutional law and the principles of limited government. I vote conservative based on my beliefs and principles that I truly believe will move our state forward and improve the lives of Oklahomans in District 2 and across the state,” Olsen said. “However, I’m honored to have been recognized by Oklahoma Constitution, which is recognized statewide as a leader in promoting conservative values. I will continue to fight for small government, fiscal responsibility and moral values for as long as I have the honor of serving.” 

The three other lawmakers to achieve a score of 100% on the Constitution’s 41st index are: State Rep. Tom Gann (R-Inola), State Sen. Mark Allen (R-Spiro) and State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow). 

To determine the ten pieces of legislation on which they will rate votes, the Constitution’s staff take suggestions from conservative leaders. They then submit bills to a vote of the membership of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC). Legislators were rated based on their votes on bills that included such issues as protecting life, free speech, Second Amendment rights, obstructing overbearing government regulations, and opposing subsidizing businesses.

To determine the overall rating, 10 points were awarded for each conservative vote; no points were given for a liberal vote. Three points were given for a failure to vote – in order to make a distinction between a liberal and a no vote. 

The average score this year was 48% in the House 61% in the Senate. Making the top conservative list were 29 lawmakers who scored 80% or more. 

A copy of the full index will be available soon at http://www.oklahomaconstitution.com/index.php

Rep. Jim Olsen represents District 2 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes portions of Seqouyah County.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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Roland Woman Faces Felony Charges


A Roland woman who allegedly brought contraband into a jail facility is facing a felony charge.

Records show that Chelsea Lynne Cox, 27, was arrested Aug. 1 after a traffic stop in Roland.

A Roland police officer on patrol Aug. 1 reportedly saw a black sport-utility vehicle fail to signal a turn, prompting him to turn on his emergency lights. In his report, the officer said that while he was behind the SUV, he could see both people in the vehicle moving around as if they were trying to hide something.

When the officer approached, Cox, the driver, handed him her driver’s license, but she didn’t have insurance verification. The officer asked her to step back to his patrol car to type out her warning. While Cox was occupied, another officer came to interview the vehicle’s passenger, Zach Marchant.

A further inquiry revealed that Marchant had an outstanding warrant, and he was arrested. Cox’s record was clean.

While the other officer was handcuffing Marchant, a police officer deployed K-9 Joy for a free-air search. The dog alerted on both of the SUV’s front doors.

A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a small, red and gray clothing bag containing syringes along with a loaded syringe with a clear liquid inside. A second gray bag was found in the back seat that contained Marchant’s old driver’s license and a set of digital scales.

Officers also found a women’s bag in the back seat that contained feminine products as well as a loaded syringe with a green liquid inside it.

Once at the jail, a further search of Cox turned up a portion of a plastic zipper bag containing a green pill with “E7” imprinted on it. 

The drug was determined to be 15 mg of Oxycodone hydrochloride, which is a Schedule 2 narcotic. The drugs found were sent to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for further testing.

Cox was released on $6,000 bond. Her next court date is at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 21. The charge carries with it a punishment of 1-5 years imprisonment in the State Penitentiary and/or a fine of up to $1,000.



Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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City’s Electrical Workers Honored for Perfect Safety Record


Sallisaw’s electric service department was honored Monday at the Board of City commissioners’ monthly meeting.

Tom Rider, general manager of the Oklahoma Municipal Alliance (OMA), was on hand to honor the workers for their perfect safety record for 2018. Crews worked 14,300 hours with no lost-time incidents, Rider said. The men were presented with a plaque honoring their achievement.

Rider also recognized Steven Armstrong, who recently completed his journeyman training. 

The OMA, formerly known as the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma, is the statewide trade association for the Sooner State’s 63 municipally owned electric distribution utilities.

The agency provides a variety of services to its member cities, including electric line apprenticeship, job training and safety, on-site customer service and more. Staff members work to provide the most cost-effective power possible and deliver it in the most reliable and safest of ways. 

The OMA also partners with select municipal water and wastewater professionals to provide hands-on operational best-practice training across the state.

Expanding the agency’s membership is vital, Rider said, adding that bringing professionals training that is closer to home will also help. The OMA’s biggest challenge, Rider said, is being able to offer the right training to meet professionals’ needs. 

“We’re excited by what (OMA) is trying to do,” Rider said.


Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer


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